Photo: Electronic Entertainment Expo: Impressions Part One

If you’re like me and couldn’t make it to the floor for the E3 conference, fret not. Thanks to Twitter, Twitch, and the generosity of all the large game sites, I was able to see pretty much everything of consequence. And did I like what I saw? Yes, and oh my goodness NO. Those were pretty much the two extremes.


I should preface my impressions –and yes, this will be a series – by saying that I wasn’t looking forward to anything in particular, so I was fully prepared to spend the entire time rolling my eyes at company foolishness and cinematic trailers. It did not end up being quite that bad. It wasn’t great, but not a total disappointment either.


Let’s start with the Microsoft show. I admit they hit me with lots of footage, and I wasn’t entirely unenthused. Starting me off with the latest in the Call of Duty series was not a wise move, though. That’s not a slow start; that’s getting hung up at the gate. I didn’t see much footage of that game, but I hardly think that matters. I don’t think CoD is going to deviate too much from the party line.


Evolve looks to be quite fun, if only because I’ll get the chance to play as a Kraken in a 4-on-1 match. It looks like an upgraded Left 4 Dead by way of Predator, which is a compliment. I also liked the look of Sunset Overdrive, which didn’t seem to take itself too seriously and graced us with actual gameplay footage. Fable Legends, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have any clue what it was doing, because it looks nothing like any Fable game I’ve ever seen or played.


I knew exactly what I was going to see when the Halo music began. The complete Master Chief Collection will be available for Xbox One, though you won’t be getting ODST or Reach. Fans only, or will new players be able use this convenient collection to get into this classic series?


We got some gameplay footage for The Witcher 3. Geralt will be making his triumphant reappearance, and he’s on the hunt. This footage was fun to watch, if only because it came bookended by cinematic trailers. Crackdown and Phantom Dust saw fit to show us those. Tantalizing, but insubstantial.


Also, you might not want to get me started on the new Tomb Raider, the trailer of which features reboot-era Lara Croft in therapy. Am I the only one who remembers Lara Croft as a rich, educated lady of the world who went adventuring because it was, you know, fun? Also, Rise of the Tomb Raider? That’s just a placeholder title, right? You’ll come up with a better one later, right? Please?


I saw lots of trailers and precious little gameplay at this show. This does not mean the games for those trailers will be bad, but it’s not terribly engaging. More to come in Part 2.

I'm the daughter of a veteran who spent my childhood in Killeen. As of 2013, I have a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a critic of books, films, television, and video games. Find me on Twitter: @rachel_knows

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